When I was a child my neighbor used to have a small garden. He grew a little bit of everything but mostly he grew tomatoes. I used to love picking those tomatoes off and eating them, digging into them like I was eating an apple. Those were the best tasting tomatoes! I would eat them until I almost made myself sick. Then, after a while, I would go back for more. My neighbor (Mr. Dugan was his name) didn't care because even though his garden was small he always had plenty of tomatoes growing. They just seemed to keep growing and multiplying.
As I grew older we moved away from that neighborhood and, living in a suburban area of Washington, DC, we always seemed to have a yard that was too small to have a garden. So since the time I was around 12 or 13 I have had to rely on buying fresh tomatoes from a local produce stand. Now that's not really a problem except for the fact that I always wanted to grow my own tomatoes.
Fast forward now a good number of years to the present. When I moved into the house that I currently live in I finally had a yard big enough to grow a small garden. I moved here in September and could not wait until the Spring came so I could get this garden planted. Spring finally came (three years ago) and I ran out and got some tomato plants, some gardening gloves and a watering can (we don't have an outside faucet). I get home with this stuff and my husband says, "Who's gonna dig this garden?". I replied, "I don't know, I never really thought about it". I mean, I was just going to dig little holes and plant the tomato plants (I'm a city girl). Wrong!!! We finally got the neighbor to come over with his Rototiller and get this garden started for me. He tilled the garden and I planted my tomatoes. I weeded, watered and cared for those tomato plants and how many tomatoes do you thinK I got? Three, that's all. Out of six plants I got three tomatoes. So I blamed it on them not getting enough sun that year.
The following year I got the neighbor to Rototill a different part of the yard. How many tomatoes did I get last year? About ten or so. Last year I said the deer were somehow getting in the yard and eating the tomatoes. Now, this year I got smart and decided to get one of those Topsy Turvy planters. I figured they would be easier and, by now, my husband is tired of me tilling up half the yard. He says it makes it harder to mow...like that's MY problem, lol. So far, out of this one planter I have gotten one ripe tomato and four that are not yet ripe. Oh, did I forget to mention that the plant is now dying? Pfffft, I give up!!!!
I guess the moral of this story is girls who grew up in the city should just get in their car, drive up the mountain to the produce stand and continue buying tomatoes like they have done their whole lives. I guess you can take the girl out of the city but you can't take the city out of the girl...not this one anyway.
LOL ok so we bought 10 tomater plants. If they don't start kicking into high gear and doing their thing it'll be snowing here and I can forget about tomaters. LOL we got a few small green ones but it's almost fall!! LOL I'm country but this is insane. Not my year for them I guess. Luckily, King Soopers is literally a hop skip and spit away ;)
It's been so hot here I don't even go out and pick our tomatoes...hubby does. We've had enough for our use but not as many as in years past when we shared with neighbors. LOVE tomatoes! :) Don't love the heat!! :)
City life, working, career girl, having babies, training children, new technology, TV, computers, etc etc. Sometimes we just want to relive those memories. As we age gracefully, we find a need to go back to a time when life was simple, and less complicated. Just enjoying the family, or having a picnic, picking tomatoes, or cherries, eating an old fashion hamburger, a real soda, reading a book, sleeping under a tree, etc etc.
Lets sell everything on Addoway and go back to a simple life.....Thanks for the memories.
BeewitchingItems | August 17th 2011 at 1313601715
Oh, this reminds me of me and I am a country girl, born and bred. My daddy was a fantastic gardener, but I can't raise any vegetables, flowers and bushes I can do. I was like you with the plants and then the Topsy-Turvy. I have now given up and buy mine from the produce stand also. Thank you for sharing this as I was afraid that I was the only one :)
Thanks for the smiles! Nature does not always agree with our plans, does she?
PrairieWindTreasures | August 17th 2011 at 1313605221
Glad to know it's just not me. I got a plant this spring and now have had two tomatoes growing - one mysteriously disappeared before it even got big and now another one that doesn't seem to grow and stays green. More flowers but no tomatoes. So very weird. Don't think I'll even bother next year.
This reminds me of the years I grew my own garden especially tomatoes, because no garden is not complete without them. There is just this joy when you can go out back and grab vegetables for your dinner or for a summer afternoon salad. I saw the delight it brought my family even from an early age and hope to have it again as I get older and move to a much more "garden-centric" environment. lol
Joyceb | August 17th 2011 at 1313609243
Love this post, we used to have fresh tomatoes every summer, spring watered. Tomatoes are not too easy to grow but a couple things you should know. They won't set on if the temperature gets above 85*F or below 65*. They require a lot of water. If there are extended periods of hot days they will not grow or ripen.
Thanks everyone! Yes, I LOVE tomatoes but, as I posted, will just get in the car and drive up the mountain to get them at the local produce stand. Glad to hear that it's not just me that's having the tomato problem. I have been known to accidently destroy house plants (too much water, not enough water, too much sun, not enough sun, etc.) but for some reason I thought tomatoes would be different, lol. I know for sure now, my thumb is not green, lol...
LOL! While we lived in Kansas, I inherited 6 tomato plants from a neighbor who moved away and had planted them before they moved. I picked 3 buckets FULL of tomatoes from those plants EVERY DAY!! I cooked up things for supper using tomatoes until I could not think of anything else to make. I cooked down and entire pot full of tomatoes to make spaghetti sauce.... best sauce ever, by the way. So the first time I planted any tomato plants here where we live now, I just bought 3 plants because I didn't want them to be as abundant as those in Kansas were.... NOT a problem, LOL. The next year I planted 6 plants and still did not have too many.... just barely enough, LOL.
This year the weather has not been kind, no matter where you live. We got tomatoes, but not like the past. Several plants came down with fungus, probably enhanced by too much water then not enough. I think some plants are more susceptible too, in general. We've noticed garden centers with more more inferior plant choices.
Using a raised bed is a blessing tho. The ground warms quicker in spring so you can get plants out earlier; it's easier to weed because you don't have to bend down as far, and up against a building there's not too much invasion into your 'pretty yard' parts and is easy to mow around.
I also think we have less pollinators around these days. Just don't see bees like you used to. But keep trying...even 1 homegrown tomato is so good, especially when you know how much crap it took to get it!